Free highlights and match report as Leandro Trossard became the first Brighton player to score a Premier League hat-trick; Roberto Firmino netted either side of the break to inspire the Reds' recovery after going two goals down; Jurgen Klopp criticised Liverpool for another 'rubbish start'
Tuesday 4 October 2022 16:43, UK
Leandro Trossard scored a sublime hat-trick to earn Brighton a share of the spoils in a pulsating draw at Anfield, condemning Liverpool to their fourth stalemate of a so far underwhelming league campaign.
Their chances of bringing the Premier League crown back to Anfield for the second time under Jurgen Klopp look to be a distant dream, with the manager bemoaning yet another "rubbish start" as they fell further behind frontrunners Arsenal in the title race.
The Gunners are already 11 points better off at the summit, while high-flying Brighton maintain their impressive standing just inside the top four, four points ahead of Liverpool in ninth.
"Star" forward Trossard had the visitors firmly in the driving seat, scoring twice inside the opening 20 minutes to give his side a two-goal advantage, before Roberto Firmino clawed the Reds back into the tie with two strikes of his own either side of the break.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson started his first match for the club in over a month as manager Jurgen Klopp made allowances for the international break in his team selection.
Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota were all left on the bench as Fabio Carvalho and Roberto Firmino start up front alongside Mohamed Salah.
Kostas Tsimikas came in at left-back for the injured Andy Robertson.
New Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi made only one change for his first match and the Seagulls' first in a month with Pervis Estupinan replacing the ill Enock Mwepu.
Liverpool then completed the turnaround just past the hour when Trent Alexander-Arnold, who had been centre of attention pre-match, delivered a teasing corner which caused confusion inside the Brighton box as the ball inadvertently hit Adam Webster before rolling cautiously over the line.
But the Seagulls were far from finished and got what their courageous performance deserved when substitute Kaoru Mitoma's cross somehow reached the far post, where Trossard was on hand to fire home in the 83rd minute - marking an entertaining start to the Roberto De Zerbi era at Brighton.
Liverpool: Allison (8), Alexander-Arnold (4), Matip (5), van Dijk (5), Tsimikas (4), Henderson (6), Fabinho (6), Thiago (6), Salah (6), Firmino (9), Carvalho (5).
Subs: Milner (5), Elliot (5), Jota (6), Diaz (7), Nunez (n/a).
Brighton: Sanchez (8), Veltman (7), Dunk (8), Webster (7), March (8), Caicedo (7), Mac Allister (8), Tenorio (7), Gross (7), Trossard (10), Welbeck (9).
Subs: Mitoma (6), Lallana (6), Lamptey (n/a).
Man of the match: Leandro Trossard
Much of the chatter in the week leading up to Liverpool's first domestic match in four weeks centered around Alexander-Arnold and his latest England snub, with Jurgen Klopp quick to leap to the defence of his full-back.
So it would have been of little help that Brighton's opening goal, scored inside four minutes, was engineered down his side of the pitch, having been exposed a number of times during a torrid first half for Liverpool.
Alexander-Arnold's untimely slip allowed Trossard to pounce, as he expertly collected Danny Welbeck's deft flick before firing accurately across goal into the far corner.
Things got worse for the hosts in the 18th minute when Trossard, producing a carbon copy of his earlier strike, again found ample space to be able to drill home into the same unmanned corner.
Firmino hauled his below-par side back into the game before the break, clipping the ball over Robert Sanchez from Mohamed Salah's pass in the 33rd minute, needing VAR to assure that the goal stood.
But it was half-time substitute Luis Diaz that proved to be the spark Liverpool desperately needed, as he teed up Firmino for his second of the afternoon 10 minutes after the interval, before Webster's own goal looked to have secured a crucial victory and arrest some of Klopp's sides' early season woes.
Alas, Trossard had the final say, completing his treble seven minutes from time to ensure Brighton left Merseyside with the point their daring display deserved.
|Goals||Firmino (2); Trossard (3)|
|Assists||Salah, Diaz; Welbeck, March, Mitoma|
|Bonus points||Trossard (3 pts), Firmino (2 pts), March (1 pt)|
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said:
"Not a score we wanted, but fair. Being 2-0 down, there are different stories to tell. Coming back and being 3-2 up is a nice story, with a difficult start, obviously.
"Throwing it away and it being 3-3 is not a nice story. For sure that is what Brighton deserved. We had moments, but we didn't play a particularly good game.
"The start of the game was the worst possible start. You cannot change that, you have to react to it. Brighton are a confident team, a team who is trying to gain confidence.
"We find a way back in the game. All good. It was intense. We had to make changes for different reasons. Players have played a lot. Yes, I think it is a fair result.
"Brighton set up in a really brave way. We couldn't prepare for it because we had no idea what they would do. That's very often football. You have solutions for situations, but before we had any solutions we were 1-0 down. That changed the momentum extremely.
"They felt like they are flying. We felt like 'okay, here's this rubbish start again'. We fought back, that's positive, although it doesn't feel it in the moment. We have to accept a point."
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said:
"Trossard is a star. Before when he was in the national team, I sent him a message that he needed to score more goals.
"I believe he can do even better than today. I say this not because I am unhappy with his game today, but I consider him a great, great, player."
Sky Sports' Laura Hunter:
Where to start? Well, that's just the issue. Liverpool have forgotten how to start football matches. A catalogue of errors in the first half led to a two-goal deficit inside 20 minutes against plucky Brighton.
It prompted Jurgen Klopp to brand his side's beginnings to games as "rubbish". Liverpool managed to salvage something from the wreckage, but by no means was it convincing. They are surely out of the title race already, seven games in.
While Leandro Trossard was busy launching the Roberto De Zerbi era in style, Klopp's Liverpool tenure is facing one of its toughest chapters yet.
In truth, the game could have been well beyond the Reds before the half-time interval, if not for some astute work from Alisson - who was abandoned on multiple occasions by his faltering backline.
Even the once impenetrable frame of Virgil van Dijk was found wanting late into the game as Trossard capitalised on a failed clearance to level the scores. James Milner was equally guilty of idleness on that occasion.
Brighton were brave, unafraid of the Liverpool press, which speaks volumes. Not too long ago, it would have been considered suicide to travel to Anfield and attempt to outpass the home side. Yet, such was Brighton's confidence, they played repeatedly through the thirds with little intervention, particularly during a fruitful first half.
They carved through Liverpool like butter. They bypassed the high press with relative ease. Their attacks flowed with all the precision and assurance of a team inside the top four. And that's exactly where the Seagulls find themselves, five places better off than Liverpool in ninth.
Should this run continue, De Zerbi is going to thoroughly enjoy his south coast adventure, while Klopp needs to somehow lift the fog that surrounds his underperforming stars, before it consumes them completely.
Alexander-Arnold proved why his defensive inconsistencies are keeping him out of Gareth Southgate's selections, as Brighton targeted Liverpool's gaping right-hand side with great success.
Klopp issued a stalwart defence of his right-back in the lead-up to the game, following his latest England omission, describing him as a "world-class" talent - yet Alexander-Arnold was partially at fault for both of Brighton's first-half entries. He looked to be distracted, allowing Trossard to give him the slip on multiple occasions.
Jordan Henderson, returning to action for the first time in a month, played a fairly nondescript role in midfield, while his replacement, Harvey Elliot, failed to make much of an impact from the bench.
After Liverpool host Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday at 8pm, Brighton host Tottenham on Saturday Night Football at 5.30pm and Liverpool travel to Arsenal on Super Sunday at 4.30pm - both live on Sky Sports Premier League.